Orioles starter hit in calf by comebacker in sixth inning
By Michael Wagaman
Special to MLB.com |
OAKLAND -- Orioles starter Ubaldo Jimenez seemed more concerned about his high pitch count than he was about being knocked out of Friday night's 5-4 loss to the A's after getting hit in his right calf by a sharp grounder in the sixth inning.
Jimenez struck out a season-high 11 and allowed three runs on six hits over 5 1/3 innings in what was his one of his sharpest outings this season. The 11 strikeouts are the most since Jimenez matched his career-high of 13 on Sept. 29, 2013, against Minnesota.
The flip side was that Jimenez threw 99 pitches, making it an easy call for Orioles manager Buck Showalter to go to his bullpen.
"It's always good to get strikeouts, but on the other hand it makes you throw a lot of pitches," Jimenez said. "I think I prefer to get deeper in the game than to strike so many guys out."
Jimenez retired Khris Davis to open the sixth and worked a 3-2 count on Chad Pinder before Pinder slapped a hard grounder up the middle. The ball hit Jimenez near his right calf before deflecting away, allowing Pinder to reach on an infield single.
Orioles head athletic trainer Richie Bancells came out to check on Jimenez, followed by Showalter. After a brief discussion, Jimenez was removed and replaced by Mychal Givens.
"I think [Showalter] pulled me out because of that," Jimenez said. "He told me that's enough. It got me pretty good. I was lucky that it didn't get any bones. It got a little inflammation in there, but it's going to go away."
Jimenez said the ball hit him in the same spot he got hit during a July 9 start in Minnesota.
"It got me in the same spot where I got hit in Minnesota the last day before the All-Star break, so it wasn't 100 percent pain-free yet," Jimenez said. "It got me in the same spot."
Baltimore's good fortunes seemed to end once Jimenez left.
Givens pitched 1 2/3 innings of one-hit ball but Brad Brach unraveled in the eighth when he gave up three consecutive hits to open the inning, followed by a one-out sacrifice fly by Pinder that drove in the tie-breaking run.
"Just left some pitches over the plate and a couple of those guys, [Matt] Joyce and [Jed] Lowrie, put some good swings on it," Brach said after absorbing the loss. "Just didn't have it tonight, unfortunately.
"Any time, especially in August when you see the standings the way they are, you see some teams have lost and you lose a game like that, it hurts. Unfortunately I just couldn't help the team."
Michael Wagaman is a contributor to MLB.com based in the Bay Area. He covered the Orioles on Friday. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.